I’ve witnessed many bright college students, who successfully completed AP courses and got accepted to top name schools, failing out of their first year. – Sandra
These young people are becoming burnt-out, over-stimulated by the bombardment of information and constant connection available through technology. Add to this the concerted effort they just put in to create the perfect college application, SAT scores, essays and grades, and you have a recipe for them shutting down, or tipping over, as they enter –or leave college.
Unfortunately, due to over-scheduling, they were never able to truly examine what wasn’t working in their lives, and cultivate the social and emotional coping-skills necessary to thrive. Pushing to always “do” more, they lost their ability to self-reflect along the way. So they turned to distractions from emotional discomfort, like drugs, video-games, binge-watching Netflix, and casual sex, in order to distract themselves from their stress. These ineffective coping skills are then carried into their college classwork, relationships, and jobs. Not having learned to tolerate the boredom of a repetitious task, they also haven’t cultivated the patience to wait for a desired outcome. They also don’t yet know how to communicate their wants and needs in a graceful manner, so they blow-up relationships with bosses, coworkers and friends, or worse, they suffer in silence.
Although not true for every young-adult, there are many who are suffering. If you are a parent reading this, you know what I’m referring to. Life is not the same as when you were growing up. Children are expected to prepare for college starting as early as middle-school. After-school sports no longer teach team-building skills for the average athlete, but are instead gateways for athletic scholarships. Summers are used to pad college applications with internships, jobs and advanced classes. Kids are being pushed to excel just to earn a chance at a college admission.
In my experience, it’s clear that today’s youth are missing out on opportunities that help cultivate their character strengths, social, and emotional intelligence. This is what I am advocating. This is what I’m offering.
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